The first thing you need to do in order to make money with a travel blog is forget the idealism. If you already have a blog, and you’re looking to weaponize it with income pools, stop writing for yourself and begin writing for search engines. Search engines are in many ways better people. They read more thoroughly, they read more intently and they even reward you for what they consider coherent writing with a better place on their lists. Show me one human whose readership you enjoy more!
But it doesn’t matter, because humans are slaves to the search engine spider, who places your site higher in the rankings and thus in the more likely position to be clicked upon. Please the spider, get more human readers. So, how do you please the spider?
How to Please Search Engine Spiders
Spiders don’t care about grammar, and they don’t care whether you know how to write well or not. They don’t care if your stories are interesting, and they don’t care if you use a lot of big words. They are, once again, your most loyal readers.
Spiders are like children. What they do is collect words, which we’ll call keywords. These keywords get indexed in their parent engine, and every time someone does a search for that word, your site will appear somewhere on their list. Whether it appears on the first page or the 1,000,000th is up to you.
Making money online with a travel blog means that you’re going to have to use keywords that people search for in order for them to find your site. This article, for example, uses the title keywords, how to make money online with a travel blog. See how I’m repeating these words over and over again and bolding them? Spidey likes that. He’s collecting them like a child and saying “looky looky! how to make money online with a travel blog!” Later, he’s going to index this very page with those very words, and so this page should show up higher on the lists.
How to Attract Advertisement for your Travel Blog
Now that you’re no longer writing for yourself, and instead you’re putting all your time into figuring out how to get more people to your site, more people are probably finding your site. Your writing might blow chode by now, but it doesn’t matter, because you’ve made the jump to make money with your travel blog, and gosh darn it that’s what you’re going to do. To hell with quality!
The simple fact of having a larger readership means that in many cases the advertiser will come to you. But if not, you might kick-start the thing by contacting advertisers directly. Make sure to sound extra superficial, and tell them not to worry about the shallowness of your articles; that you get high traffic and that means their advertisement will have visibility. Bid low to start out, but don’t worry, with time you’ll get greedier and you can break a contract and ask for more money later on.
As for where the advertisement goes, it doesn’t really matter. You’re going to be thinking about preserving the “good looks” of your webpage, but don’t let the hippies get you down; advertising looks great. There’s nothing that quite shows your dedication to your site like a big banner slapped across the face of the homepage. It says “this is my site and thank you for reading–you’re allowing me to make money from this travel blog”. Love commercialism, love money.
How to Keep Up with Posts
One problem you’ll start to have once you go down the path of monetizing your travel blog is finding the time to write. It used to be about the writing itself, but now that you’re making money it has become a job, and like any other job, you will start to treat it with dismay. Where once you enjoyed writing, now you will loathe it. Where once you could write easily about experiences, now your mind only thinks of things to write that will boost SEO content. So, how can you keep up?
One way to do it is to start accepting guest posts from other bloggers. Whether those bloggers are also monetizers or whether they’re just the regular blogger, it doesn’t matter to you. To you, they’re just a way to freshen up your blog without doing any of the work yourself. You have to love delegating.
A second method is even easier. You can outsource your work (because, writing travel blog posts is now work, not play). All you have to do is use a website like elance.com or freelancer.com to post a project of, say, “50 Travel SEO Articles”, and let the bids start flowing. You’re most likely only going to have to spend 5 to 10 dollars, as those websites are great for exploiting third world labor.
How to Keep the Naysayers at Bay
You might start to get comments on your site that attack you for being a sell-out, for stuffing articles with keywords and that, whether or not you can irk one out that reads somewhat interestingly, attack the article quality. But don’t let them get you down, there are plenty of ways you can feign ignorance or shun them, or easier still, simply delete their comment.
Your website is now your workplace, and you don’t need unknown people writing negative comments. It’s not good for business. The comments you want to have are quick little comments that say how cool you are, or comments by those that have been pulled in and have started a conversation about the article (good job–but they’re probably just trying to promote their own site).
Comments against you, comments which try to bring out the truth of your site, you don’t need those meddling things. You’re the moderator goddamnit and if you don’t use the power, who will? Just delete those comments, enough said. Who cares about fairness, this is your money machine!
But if you decide to play it “fair”, and leave the comment visible, you’re going to have to respond. Use the lifestyle rebuttal. Explain that your website is your lifestyle and that you feel offended that he’s attacking your way of living. Be proud; tell him you’re a travel blogger. When he attacks you for saying this, tell him that travel bloggers all care about the same thing; making money online, and that he should get with the flow. You probably make more money than him doing nothing than he does doing something.
Feeling the Travel Blogger Solidarity
When it comes down to it, you can always justify your way of life–that is, making a significant amount of money by not really doing anything that helps or betters anyone, not even yourself–by finding peace among like-minded travel bloggers. There’s nothing quite like the group dynamic to make a questionable idea seem Holy Script.
Remember that you are a travel blogger now; the world is waiting for you to butcher it with saturating writing.